The Church celebrates today the memory of the Holy Ten Martyrs who were martyred on Crete, and the memory of Saint Niphon, Bishop of Constantia on Cyprus.
The ten martyrs from Crete, including Theodulos and Irakleios, suffered for Christ during the third century during the reign of Emperor Decius. They were brought before the pagan governor of the island, who forced them to worship and sacrifice to idols.
Their opposition and the confession of faith in Christ led them to horrific torture, which lasted for thirty days.
In the end, they were brought to trial. Due to their steadfast faith in Christ, the judge decided to behead them.
The hymn of the day combines the martyrdom of the Cretan martyrs with the great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.
Source: Church of Cyprus